I was inspired by this article on “How To Use If-Then Planning To Achieve Any Goal” and after practicing the “If-Then” for months now, I can recommend it to all of you. At least, it works for me in 50-70% of the time, especially when it comes to delivering results by building a disciplined work schedule.
Here are my examples of using “If-Then” statement in my daily & weekly routine.
If it is 1st Monday of the month, then transfer rent to landlord.
If it is noon, then take the next 5 minutes to complete whatever that I am doing.
If it is Thursday, then schedule a call with one of my relatives.
Well, I tend to practice perhaps 10-20 (out of 100) of my If-Then statements regularly, this is why I don’t have a 100% success rate and falls somewhere between 50-70%. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the fact that being able to carry on with simple routine automatically is a great productivity hack, for some, it might be boring though (I am, at times, bored).
For those who are unaware, “If-Then” statement are primarily one of the basic functions in programming. Henceforth, the utilization of the “If-Then” statement as a productivity hack might resonate more with certain group of people who are ok with routine or like precision in their daily routine and the list goes on. I think it suits me due to my irrational approach to rationality, enjoyment of precision work (not being perfectionist though) and ability to build quick habits.
How Can You Get Started?
Any Web Tool?
Well, there are certain a bunch of web app/phone app out there. I’m not using anything in particular given that I am pretty used to my schedule and started off using Evernote to note down the list of conditional to-dos.
Here are tools that I could suggest:
Evernote, Notepad, Google Sheet and Any.Do
They are free to use and also come with premium service (Evernote and Any.do).
What Are The Benefits?
I believe the one major reward from such practice is time-saving. For me, it removes the hassles of missing out rent payment or bill payment in due time. Basing myself on the “If it is day X, then I must do Y task.”
The other rewards could be a mental decluttering of your thinking effort and the automation of certain decision-making that happens on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Similarly but not related to “If-Then” statement, I bought a few t-shirts of the same brand/model, and wear them as often as possible (70% of the time), thus allowing me NOT to be bothered by what to wear.
If it is meeting day, then I wear a more formal shirt which I would prepare on the eve, and most important, I also have a limited option on formal shirt.
Don’t let the day go away without completing critical tasks. Avoid assuming that simply mental model like the “If-Then” are irrational or “too simple” until you’ve tried it.
Share your thoughts below and don’t forget to share this productivity hack with your friends!